Don't Just Show Up | Alex Silver-Fagan


The difference between showing up and doing the work.

Have you ever taken a yoga or fitness class and the teacher says at the start, “You did it, you made it. You showed up.”? You know what I’m talking about right? And I’m sure when you hear the teacher acknowledge your participation, you feel relieved and think to yourself, “I did show up. I’m here.” But there’s so much more to it than just showing up. And I guarantee that you actually aren’t getting the most out of your time, especially after being praised for “simply showing up.” Why? Because life is crazy and we run around with our heads cut off half the time that when we finally do get to that class or workout - when we show up - we’re already completely drained. 

Unfortunately, this means we’re just wasting our time. If you don’t commit past just simply showing up… you aren’t getting anything. You gain the most when you push past the other junk and focus on what we came for. You need to go all in. 

In other words: It’s not just enough to show up. You have to make the effort to work hard and be present for every moment. This doesn’t just apply to yoga or fitness classes, it’s applicable to every aspect of your life: workouts, business meetings, quality time with friends, even brushing your teeth! What I’m referring to is being present in the moment and focusing your energy on that particular task or activity, whatever it may be. When we just simply show up, we zone out. But when we show up, tune in and focus… we get to find a state of flow.

Flow is an amazing experience, and one that we should all find in our daily lives. It’s something I strive for every day and part of the focus of my “Flow Into Strong” class. 

You’ve probably already experienced it even if you didn’t know it. Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi, author of the book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, outlined this theory. He says, flow is a psychological state that people experience when they engage in an activity that is challenging and involves concentrated focus on a task. This complete immersion can bring about deep learning and high levels of personal and work satisfaction.

Every activity you participate in will be more beneficial if you’re focused on what you’re doing. You can exist in the moment rather than worrying about the other twenty things on your to-do list. This type of multi-tasking, aka what most humans in 2018 do every single moment of the day, produces extreme anxiety. 

In my class, “Flow Into Strong,” I challenge my clients to dig a little deeper and work IN rather than just workout. I want you to learn how to focus your energy and concentration during every second of the class. This way, the experience is worthwhile. Rather than just an hour of moving mindlessly.

Instead of staying on the constant gerbil wheel of your life and running around aimlessly towards a thousand different goals, take a moment to look around, take a breath, and enjoy where you are and what you’re doing… RIGHT. NOW.

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Alex Silver Fagan is the founder of Flow Into Strong and fitness instructor in NYC with weekly classes at Solace. She is also leading the SYB Adventure to Belize - December, 2018.